France doesn't fall in 1940; Stalin makes a move on Subcarpathian Ruthenia

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Futurist
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France doesn't fall in 1940; Stalin makes a move on Subcarpathian Ruthenia

Post by Futurist » 04 Sep 2018 02:30

Here is the scenario: Due to the French Seventh Army not being sent to the Low Countries and instead being kept at either Rheims or the Ardennes sector, France is able to stop the Manstein Plan (the Sickle-Cut) in its tracks--thus preventing the Fall of France in 1940 and causing World War II to become another stalemate like World War I.

Seeing Germany, Britain, and France bogged down in trench-like warfare, Stalin decides to finish the job of reunifying the Ukrainian lands. First of all, he successfully bullies Romania into giving up both Bessarabia and northern Bukovina. Then, Stalin decides to do a daring move and orders an invasion of Hungarian-controlled Subcarpathian Ruthenia (which is Ukrainian-majority). This invasion can be done either through conventional means or via paratroopers depending on what you think is best; personally, I think that Stalin might be fond of the paratrooper idea since it would allow his forces to get past any defenses that the Hungarians have on the Carpathian Mountains (this would be a similar strategy to what Nazi Germany used in Crete in 1941 in real life. Specifically, due to Britain's naval supremacy, Nazi Germany successfully used paratroopers to capture Crete).

Anyway, how do Hungary, Germany, France, Britain, and other European countries react to Stalin's seizure of Subcarpathian Ruthenia? I would think that Hungary would want to fight the Soviet Union over this, but without allies, it faces a very real risk of being completely overrun by the Soviet Union--with all of Hungary rather than only Subcarpathian Ruthenia fulling under Communist rule.

What are your thoughts on this scenario of mine?

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Re: France doesn't fall in 1940; Stalin makes a move on Subcarpathian Ruthenia

Post by wm » 18 Sep 2018 03:04

Paratroopers weren't needed, Stalin annexed Subcarpathian Ruthenia at the end of 1944 by staging a fake Ukrainian pro-Soviet uprising.
This was his favorite method and actually the most effective.

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Re: France doesn't fall in 1940; Stalin makes a move on Subcarpathian Ruthenia

Post by Futurist » 16 Oct 2018 06:20

wm wrote:
18 Sep 2018 03:04
Paratroopers weren't needed, Stalin annexed Subcarpathian Ruthenia at the end of 1944 by staging a fake Ukrainian pro-Soviet uprising.
This was his favorite method and actually the most effective.
Hungary would actually try to put up a fight in 1940 in this TL and would have a great defensive line in the Carpathians. In turn, this is why I proposed paratroopers here--to make it easier for the Soviets to bypass the Hungarian defenses in the Carpathians.

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Re: France doesn't fall in 1940; Stalin makes a move on Subcarpathian Ruthenia

Post by wm » 18 Oct 2018 20:29

It's a puny goal with probably quite serious repercussions. The territory was small and worthless but still required a major war to conquer it.
In real life Stalin thought big and asked the Germans for:
- territories south of the national territory of the Soviet Union in the direction of the Indian Ocean,
- political partitioning of Turkey,
- free hand in Finland,
- free hand in Bulgaria,
- Northern Sakhalin,
- naval and land bases in Bulgaria, on the Bosporus and the Dardanelles.

The Germans weren't willing but facing another stalemate like during ww1 they probably would.

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Re: France doesn't fall in 1940; Stalin makes a move on Subcarpathian Ruthenia

Post by KACKO » 24 Oct 2018 15:43

wm wrote:
18 Sep 2018 03:04
Paratroopers weren't needed, Stalin annexed Subcarpathian Ruthenia at the end of 1944 by staging a fake Ukrainian pro-Soviet uprising.
This was his favorite method and actually the most effective.
It wAs not Uprising. Soviets pished occuying Hungarians as well as Germans troops out of territory. However despite agreements with Czechoslovak Government in exile they didn’t allow return of Czechoslovak officials to territory and started to organize “plebiscites” requesting incorporation into Ukrainian SSR.

If we consider in what situation Ruthenians were since Hungarian occupation in March 1939 to summer 1944 and that even in Czechoslovakia Ruthenia was onenof poorest areas Soviets probably didn’t even need to put much effort. Not that Ruthenians improved their situation much.

But definitely it was not Uprising.

However if scenerio as presented occured sometimes in 1940/41 Soviets would very likely had strong local support against occupying Hungarians.


Interestingly most of Czechoslovak soldiers of Ruthenian origin fighting in Czechoslovak Army Corps orgainzed in USSR opted to stay in Czechoslovakia after war ended

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Re: France doesn't fall in 1940; Stalin makes a move on Subcarpathian Ruthenia

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 24 Oct 2018 17:02

KACKO wrote:
24 Oct 2018 15:43
...

Interestingly most of Czechoslovak soldiers of Ruthenian origin fighting in Czechoslovak Army Corps orgainzed in USSR opted to stay in Czechoslovakia after war ended
I wonder if any were Communist Party members who went there to organize for the CP?

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Re: France doesn't fall in 1940; Stalin makes a move on Subcarpathian Ruthenia

Post by Sid Guttridge » 25 Oct 2018 16:19

Surely this scenario is based on the false premise that Stalin had any interest in ".....reunifying the Ukrainian lands"? He had spent the 1920s and early 1930s killing millions of Ukrainians during collectivization and the elimination of the kulaks. Stalin was anything but a supporter of Ukrainian nationalism.

And what did Ruthenia have to offer of itself? It had no natural resources of value and in military terms was strategically vulnerable.

If there was a demonstrable, enduring stalemate in the West, Stalin was far more likely to launch an all-out war on Germany's extremely exposed rear than to flag up his future intentions to Germany by nibbling away at a largely useless piece of real estate in Ruthenia.

I suggest it would have been all-out war, or nothing.

Cheers,

Sid.

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wm
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Re: France doesn't fall in 1940; Stalin makes a move on Subcarpathian Ruthenia

Post by wm » 27 Oct 2018 18:58

Ruthenia was a target of opportunity, it could have been done so he did it.
After all, until 1948 Czechoslovakia was a capitalist country. It wasn't certain he would be able to control it.
And certainly, the map of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic looked better afterward.

If there was a demonstrable, enduring stalemate in the West, Stalin was far more likely to launch an all-out war on Germany's extremely exposed rear than to flag up his future intentions to Germany by nibbling away at a largely useless piece of real estate in Ruthenia.
That was unlikely. The plan and (the theory) was to wait for a ww1-like collapse of the belligerents and a revolution.

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Re: France doesn't fall in 1940; Stalin makes a move on Subcarpathian Ruthenia

Post by wm » 27 Oct 2018 18:59

KACKO wrote:
24 Oct 2018 15:43
But definitely it was not Uprising.
So not even a fake uprising? Not nice.
But I suppose he was sure Czechoslovakia wasn't going to protest so why bother.

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Re: France doesn't fall in 1940; Stalin makes a move on Subcarpathian Ruthenia

Post by Futurist » 29 Oct 2018 00:32

Sid Guttridge wrote:
25 Oct 2018 16:19
Surely this scenario is based on the false premise that Stalin had any interest in ".....reunifying the Ukrainian lands"? He had spent the 1920s and early 1930s killing millions of Ukrainians during collectivization and the elimination of the kulaks. Stalin was anything but a supporter of Ukrainian nationalism.
Stalin did use this logic to annex Subcarpathian Ruthenia after the end of World War II, no?

Also, while Stalin might not have cared much about the welfare of the Ukrainians as a people, he does appear to have wanted to put all Ukrainians under Communist rule.
And what did Ruthenia have to offer of itself? It had no natural resources of value and in military terms was strategically vulnerable.
It would give the Soviet Union easy access to Hungary and to Slovakia.
If there was a demonstrable, enduring stalemate in the West, Stalin was far more likely to launch an all-out war on Germany's extremely exposed rear than to flag up his future intentions to Germany by nibbling away at a largely useless piece of real estate in Ruthenia.

I suggest it would have been all-out war, or nothing.

Cheers,

Sid.
Why would Stalin have entered a war which he condemned as imperialist?

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